Background Briefing: December 4, 2019


Dueling Legal Scholars and Overheated Republican Rhetoric

We  begin with the first day of impeachment hearings before the House Judiciary Committee featuring four law professors and a lot of partisan sparring which at the end of the day appears to be the Republican’s strategy to make the hearing so overheated with partisanship and alternative realities that the bulk of the population tunes it out and are left with the impression that the whole impeachment exercise is about partisanship not presidential abuse of power. Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University as well as a visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School and author of “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents”, joins us. We  discuss today’s disagreement between dueling legal scholars over whether Trump’s conduct met the constitutional threshold for removal of a duly elected president which was largely ignored by Republican congressional questioners who made speeches condemning the whole process as a bitter partisan exercise which the Democrats have been engaged in since Trump took office. With today’s opening round of the House impeachment investigation exposing such a relentless onslaught of distraction from building a case against a president which in a month or so will end up as a trial in the Senate, we will assess whether no matter how strong the case against Trump is, it won’t be clear to a lot of Americans.


 “When Does Ordinary Republican Partisanship Turn Into Treason?”

Then we speak with John Stoehr, a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly and the editor and publisher of The Editorial Board where he has an article “When Does Ordinary Republican Partisanship Turn into Treason?” We discuss the extraordinary depth of dishonesty Republicans like Senator Kennedy and even the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee are sinking to in parroting the Russian line to try to shift the blame from Russia’s proven meddling in the 2016 election onto the hapless Ukrainians whose country is under attack by Russia.


The Pentagon’s Reality-Based Approach to Global Warming

Then finally, with an alarming report from the Global Carbon Project showing how 2019 has seen an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, we  speak with Michael Klare, a Five College professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of a new book, just out, “All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change”. We  examine the role of the Pentagon which is planning for the catastrophic consequences of global warming and how their reality-based efforts could influence global warming deniers.

All Hell Breaking Loose